A Wading River woman was sentenced Thursday to 10 years in federal prison for helping her boyfriend allegedly operate a large-scale drug dealing operation that trafficked in cocaine, heroin and fentanyl, federal prosecutors said.
Amber Schatz had pleaded guilty at Central Islip federal court in May before U.S. District Judge Denis R. Hurley to charges of conspiring to distribute controlled substances and the possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.
“Defendants like Schatz who contribute to the opioid epidemic and put communities at risk by openly selling large quantities of dangerous drugs will face serious consequences,” said Breon Peace, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.
Prosecutors said the 33-year-old woman and her boyfriend, Curtis Prussick, regularly sold drugs from parking lots around Rocky Point. Community complaints led to a joint investigation into the couple between the FBI, Suffolk County East End Drug Task Force and the Riverhead Police Department, which arrested the couple in February 2020.
When investigators executed a search warrant, authorities seized more than 170 grams of fentanyl, over 125 grams of cocaine and 40 grams of crack cocaine as well as oxycodone and heroin. Also seized was a pill press that the defendants allegedly used to press fentanyl into pill form, and an assault rifle that they used to protect the operation.
A single gram of fentanyl — a highly dangerous synthetic opioid — can kill 300–500 people, according to evidence cited by the Drug Enforcement Administration, meaning Schatz and Prussick possessed enough to snuff out between 51,000 and 85,000 lives—on the lower end, that would amount to more than the entire populations of the towns of Riverhead (30,000) and Southold (20,000) combined.
In August, cocaine adulterated with the drug resulted in six fatal overdoses over eight days on the North Fork.
The charges against Prussick are pending.